Who is Thomas Heayel? School teacher banned from classroom for posing in underwear and offering sex online

Who is Thomas Heayel? School teacher banned from classroom for posing in underwear and offering sex online
Thomas Heayel is suspended indefinitely from teaching (Thomas Heayel/ LinkedIn)

An elementary school teacher has been banned from teaching because he has posted inappropriate pictures of himself and offered to sell sexual services on the internet. Thomas Heayel, 31, used to teach at St Columb Minor near Newquay, Cornwall before his secret online life was discovered. Heayel was fired from the school after the photos were seen and forwarded to a disciplinary hearing by the education regulation industry. 

He was ruled to be guilty of posting or allowing to be displayed one or more inappropriate images of himself on the internet between February and July 2020. Heayel was also found to have posted or allowed to be displayed one or more images, messages, and/or comments on the internet offering to sell sexual services during the same period. Heayel started teaching at the school on September 1, 2019, until his discharge. 


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He admitted to the allegations and accepted that his conduct amounted to “unacceptable professional conduct.” Concerns were first raised by members of the local authority on July 7, 2021, before the teacher was dismissed on July 23. The disciplinary court found that Heayel’s conduct significantly fell short of the standards expected of the appeal. According to DailyMail, the panel said: ‘While the panel took into account that no evidence had been presented that students had seen or accessed the images online, the panel felt that as a teacher, Mr Heayel would likely be viewed as a role model by students".

“The panel noted that whilst the website where Mr. Heayel posted the images was restricted, the images could also be accessed via a generic internet search and one image contained Mr. Heayel's name. Consequently, the images were in the public domain enabling any member of the public, or pupil, to have sight of them. The panel therefore concluded Mr Heayel's behavior would undoubtedly damage the public's perception of the teaching profession and there were public interest factors to consider".


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Thomas Heayel is suspended from teaching indefinitely even though the panel noted Heayel’s remorse. Positive references had been submitted to the panel but these were only relevant to Heayel’s job application at the school and no new references had been provided since his misconduct. Heayel is banned from teaching in any school, secondary school, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. In conclusion, the panel said there was “little evidence to suggest that Mr Heayel’s contribution to the profession had been either long term or significant.” He can apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 5 July 2024, two years from the date of the order. In order for Heayel to then return to teaching, he must prove to another Teaching Regulation Agency panel that he is fit to do so.

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